Comprehensive marine and coastal databases are essential for management of the seas of Southeast Asia. Maps of resources found in marine and coastal environments, the sources of potential damage and data to guide managers are the means by which resources can be assessed and managed to maintain marine resources. This information is get by do the oceanographic survey. There is a strong need for data for managers to manage, conserve, remediate, recover and sustain continued use of Southeast Asian coastal and marine resources. This need is met by inspired, knowledgeable and scientific use of data. Also, the importance of monitoring, mapping and management is considered. Currently there are many global databases including global datasets of a general nature.
There are also several national databases that are more specific, but access to the information in many of these databases is difficult from an international perspective primarily because of the language barrier. However, there are few regional databases and the existing ones include limited sets of data and information, often collected under the umbrella of the hosting organization. It is very difficult to get a comprehensive overview of which data and information are readily available from public sources at global, regional and national levels and this makes it difficult to assess data and fill information gaps. There is also very little information providing an overview of past or on-going project activities in the region and the lessons-learned from these oceanographic survey activities. Likely reasons are the difficulties in collecting such information and the need for regular verification and updating. In addition, no organization has taken the responsibility, or has been given the mandate, to collect and coordinate information on activities under the various organizations and programmes operating in the region. Data ocenography take time and money to collect and are extremely valuable resources.
They affect coastal and marine management decisions and need to be stored and shared. In order to make best use of the efforts undertaken in the Southeast Asian Seas region, increased collaboration between existing projects and programmes would be beneficial in order to increase data oceanography accessibility and address information gaps at national and regional levels. This collaboration may well start with increased information sharing and networking between regional organizations, governments, organisations, universities and existing database initiatives through further developing mechanisms.